- Austria’s biggest broker of bitcoin, Bitpanda, wants Bitcoin regulated just like gold and derivatives.
- He claims regulations would give Bitcoin more legitimacy.
Vienna, Austria: The founders of Bitpanda GmbH stated that though any cryptocurrency transactions above €10,000 ($12,300) within the European Union is subjected to anti-money laundering rules, however, applying more arduous financial standards could cramp the emerging market for cryptocurrency.
Eric Demuth, 28, the Bitpanda co-Chief Executive Officer, said in an interview:
“Regulation provides us with more legitimacy, we’ve wanted to be regulated, but so far have been told that we cannot be.”
Financial regulators all over the world are striving to classify and govern cryptocurrency as it poses challenges to the traditional, central bank-backed currencies. This has caused some of cryptocurrency entrepreneurs to seek out rules and regulations that would put the crypto industry on firmer ground and strengthen its credibility.
Last month, the Austria’s finance ministry said it is looking into trading rules for gold and derivatives as inspiration for formulating rules and regulations on cryptocurrencies.
Though policy makers see gold as a likely vehicle for tax cheaters and criminals, yet they do not impose any special capital requirements on gold: banks can account for gold as risk-free just like cash or government bonds. In the EU, retail sales of gold are also exempted from value-added-tax, and traders do not have the capital and conduct rules that their peers do in stock and bond markets.
Even in the midst of warning from the Austrian central bankers about the risks that cryptocurrencies pose in money laundering, Bitpanda has been growing its links within government institutions. It sells Bitcoin vouchers though the state-owned postal service and claimed it recently signed research deals with the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Technical University of Vienna.
Paul Klanschek, 31, a co-CEO of the company said:
“Regulation should come from the EU level. National regulators will have a hard time developing expertise to look at cryptocurrency holdings.”
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